“Importing countries may prohibit the supply of feed grain from Russia due to the active spread of African Swine Fever (ASF), which reached the central part of Russia,” according to Deputy Head of Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary (Rosselkhoznadzor) Nikolai Vlasov, in St. Petersburg on Monday.
According to Vlasov, Rosselkhoznadzor has already advised the federal Government on the situation. He said the next step should be the adoption of a state program for the eradication of ASF. However, according to Vlasov, the possibility of such adoption has not even been considering yet.
“Analysis of the cases has shown that primary infection occurred through animal feed. Pig feed is bran and other derivatives of wheat forage, straw is also used for litter. Experts believe wheat can carry the causative agent of ASF, and this is the primary means of its spread among the pig population in Russia. The only way to avoid the spread of the epidemic is to prohibit the delivery of feed, including grain from affected regions of Russia,” said Rosselkhoznadzor.
According to a market analyst at Meat Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) Mikhail Grigoryev, such a ban would lead to Russian producers of feed grains losing important markets, including the EU, which annually ships about 7.5 million tonnes of grain. This will cost Russian producers 50 bln rubles (US$ 1.66 bln). At the same time, overproduction will lead to lower prices for feed in the domestic market.
(By Vladislav Vorotnikov)